Story: TALES OF THE F.B.I. (Faith Based Investigations)
October 1, 2021
CHAPTER NINE – CONVERSATION WITH EVIL
Written by: J. Anthony Spencer
When you first walk into The Archive, the first thing you notice is the surreal feel of it. It’s an effect that many have seen in Sci-Fi or horrors films, but here it is real. A pure white light that is almost blinding, emitting from nowhere and everywhere. There are rows upon rows of light gray cabinets that span to an infinite horizon. This is what Michael sees when he walks in. From creation to now, information is continually being added to these files. The one thing that seems out of place is a jade desk that sits several yards down the center aisle. At this desk sits a single man, regal in his bearing but with an expression of eternal regret etched upon his face. “Wise Solomon, how fare you?” asks Michael. “Michael. As well as can be. What brings you to The Archive?” the man answers. “Solomon, I found myself in the presence of a being I didn’t know existed. I hoped that a mention of it was somewhere in The Archive. Have you ever heard of Lady or Blind Justice?”
Solomon answers. “Lady or Blind Justice is an allegorical personification of the judicial system. They based the imagery on Roman mythology. That is how they say, is the wiki version. There have been several reported sightings of Lady Justice. Often at high-profile trials. Some believe it stems from a stressful or fevered mind. What I can say it doesn’t seem to be malevolent or a creation from this side of the scale. No pun intended. Even with your sighting, there is no pattern. That being said, it could be days or decades before another sighting.” Michael considers this. He wondered if the sighting and what he feels is an increase in activity from the Adversary’s side could be related. Maybe for now he could relax on that thought. “So Solomon, there is a secondary concern. Maybe to me only, but it feels that even with the turmoil in the world, there is an increase in dark forces. As if there is suddenly an urgency by The Adversary.” Says Michael. “Now, in that, you are not wrong. There has been something going on. But I can’t say what or why.” answers Solomon.
Michael feels validation and shock that his feelings may have just been justified. “So how can I find out more about what’s going on?” Solomon, whose facial appearance has always been stoic, says with a slight smile. “Go to the source.” Michael stares at Solomon, wheels turning in his head. “Is there a way to contact him directly? Or in a manner that he may have to answer?” “There is.” says Solomon. “There’s an antiquity shop in Cairo on Safiya Zaghioui. The proprietor’s name, if I am not mistaken, is El Ahmedi. He is an earthy conduit to his lord, Lucifer. I am sure he will deny it and may need some convincing.” Michael smiles and turns. “Thanks Solomon.”
Cairo is the capital and largest city in Egypt with a population of 21.3 million. A clash of ancient and modern. There is not much you can’t find here, legal or illegal. Michael, as is his way, never “transports” directly to a location. He “steps” into the tropical desert climate with air thick with lead and copper-tinged pollution. The city has dozens of antiquity shops, many with less than genuine wares. He heads to one shop in particular, dressed in white, loose fitting linen and dark sunglasses. He looks like a movie version “hitman”. As he pushes open the door, a small bell announces his entry into the dimly lit shop. There are two people at the counter about 3 yards from the door. Clearly, the man behind the counter is El Ahmedi, or one of his employees. The other seems to be a customer, however, what is strange is that both react to his presence. As he gets closer to the counter, the male customer that appears to be a local, lowers his head, excuses himself and exits the shop.
“Are you El Ahmedi?” asks Michael. The man across from him squints as if his looking into a bright light, which he is. Michael has extended his aura and if he was a veritable demon, he could not look at him directly. Michael knows. This human is a servant of some rank and prone to the energy emitting from him. “Yes, I am El Ahmedi. Is there something I can do for you sir.?” Michael chooses the direct approach. “I’m requesting an audience with your master.” declares Michael. “Sir, I have no master and sure…” Michael stops him mid-sentence. “IF YOU MAY NOT KNOW WHO I AM, BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I AM!” Though Michael’s voice has remained the same, inside the head of El Ahmedi, it is deafening. He holds his head. Michael reaches up and pulls the sunglasses to the bridge of his nose. Twin blazing suns now flare where the irises once were. This sight drives El Ahmedi over the edge. He shrieks and backs onto the glass cabinets behind him. Michael replaces his sunglasses and smiles. A smile that, if he were not an angel, would be devilish. “If there is no response in twenty-four hours, I’ll be back.” He turns on his heels, strides down the aisle and out the door.
Forty minutes later, Michael is sitting alone in the revolving restaurant at the top of Cairo Tower overlooking the city covered in haze. There is a charge similar to static electricity and then he is not alone. “Hail Prince of the Host.” Says the newcomer. “Hail Father of Lies.” Says Michael, unfazed by the appearance. He notices immediately that Lucifer is using the High Language of the Angels, a direct jab at Michael, reminding him of the position Lucifer once held. “You asked for an audience. Here I am.” Lucifer picks up a menu. “Are we ordering?” Michael looks at him and asks. “Do you agree that while we are here and for the length of our conversation, this is a place of neutrality?” Lucifer considers and smiles. Unseen by the other patrons of the restaurant, he draws a circle of flame in the air, ending with period in its center. “I do.” They order.
After the meal is complete, both men sit back in their seats. On the table are only two wine glasses sitting on the red tablecloth. Michael looks warily at Lucifer. There is no red skin or horns, no forked tongue or slits for eyes. The face is so handsome it is almost beautiful, with a pencil-thin moustache. Where one would expect cloven hoofs is a pair of Italian leather shoes. The dark suit is of an exquisite silk blend and unmatched anywhere on earth. “That was nice. What can I do for you, Michael?” Michael takes a sip from his glass and speaks. “This eternal war. We know what has happened in the past. We also know the future and that no matter how it appears to man, there is usually a balance. I suspect the latter is now not true. The scales seem to be tipped. Is this your doing?” Lucifer leans back and out of a mouth of pearl white teeth comes a small laugh that all at once sounds musical and sinister. “Michael, as you know, I am aware of what is pre-ordained, fully knowing, as we march toward what is inevitable. I will enjoy a time when the balance will shift to me, if only for a while. Why would I change what some would call fate?” Lucifer says, still smiling. “I heard what you said. What I also know is that you did not answer the question.” Says Michael sternly.
Lucifer looks at Michael, and if he feels offended, he doesn’t show it. “I am The Father of Lies, but I will say that I am not currently heading any campaign that is shifting the balance. What would I have to gain? There is a yin and yang to all that is. Why upset the balance?” Michael hears the words. Knows that he is the Father of Lies, but somehow knows that he may have spoken the truth. Or at least a half truth. “But let me ask a question?” says Lucifer. “Why is it thought that all that is dark, but not necessarily evil, thought to be a product of mine? There are others with, as that says, an axe to grind with the forces of… of… Good.” He says the word good as if it is alien to his tongue. “Evil like good can flourish without direct intervention from the masters of each. That’s what free will is all about. You know me, I believe free-will is over-rated.” Michael tents his fingers in thought and then notices a man standing in shadow at the far end of the room. He does not know why he has noticed him. He fears little from mortals, and since this is currently a place of neutrality, he doesn’t feel that this person would do him harm. Or at least not now. Still on guard, he turns back to Lucifer. “The Black Death. Was that your doing?” Lucifer is aware of this change of questioning but gathers himself and smiles anew. “What about this new Covid thing that is gaining steam?” continues Michael. Yet another smile without an answer.
Lucifer stands and straightens his suit coat and tie. Michael notices a server attending to the man that is standing in shadow but returns his attention to Lucifer when he speaks. “This has been refreshing. We must do this again sometime.” Michael smiles wryly. Lucifer turns and disappears. Michael sits as the server gets to the table and hands him a note. He reads it and turns to the corner where the man was standing, only to find there was no one there. He returns his attention to the odd note that looks like parchment paper and the words written on it. “The seas will run red with your blood, Firstborn.”
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